Wednesday, October 14
Forty Days of Proclamation: CHANGE
“Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51: 10
Have you ever jumped up and down in a moving elevator? This double action has proven to be rather confusing to my mind and body. (The fact that I am blonde doesn't help either.) Well, I think that’s about how I would sum up the year 2020. Movement within movement; change within change.
At the beginning of this year, I experienced the birth of my first granddaughter. Because it was January 11th, I got to hold little Hally within the first hour, mask free. Then only eight weeks later, the height of joy changed to the depth of sorrow when my father-in-law passed away due to his declining health. Because Covid had just entered the scene, and because my husband Mac is a doctor and had been exposed to the virus, we watched his daddy be buried via Facebook-live from our own den--a strange, sad, and isolated feeling to say the least. Other changes this year include: a postponed but eventual move from a rental house, our daughter’s “moving target” wedding concerning the place and numbers attending, and a switched destination to celebrate our 30th anniversary--instead of a first time adventure to France, we road-tripped-it to Birmingham AL. (I’m actually glad to go anywhere with my boyfriend!).
Here are two broad things I’ve learned concerning my 2020 word "CHANGE":
1. GOD DOES NOT CHANGE. “Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will change like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end” (Psalm 102:25-28). In these verses I see that I have a choice: I can either LOOK at my up-and-down-cirmcumstances that are here today and gone tomorrow, or as Dayna Curtis Moseley encouraged us yesterday, I can LOOK to my God. He is my Rock of refuge. In the midst of ongoing change, I am forever encased in his steadfast love.
2. IT IS GOD’S WILL FOR ME TO CHANGE. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). Bottom line, we were formed in God’s image, but sin de-formed us. The good news is that Jesus came to re-form us! This “changing me to become more like Christ” is a lifelong process that takes daily work and abundant grace. The old hymn says it so well, "Ancient words, forever true; changing me, changing you." With God’s directive word and his powerful Spirit as my helper, I can choose to change these things: my discouragement to determination, my worry to prayer, and my doubt to belief.
To finish up my CHANGE thoughts, one practical thing that I have added in my days since the pandemic is this: I now pray every time I wash my hands. This started when we were getting all the appropriate instructions on “how to wash." When my hands are under the water, I pray: “Lord change my HEART (and others...)." Think about this: what if this year, our hearts changed on the inside as much as our circumstances have changed on the outside? I think that's where the good from the not-so-good would enter in. I believe our transformed hearts would make the confusing capsule of 2020 a Brighter, more Blessed place.
Yes Lord, CHANGE my heart!
For further reading: Psalm 46; Psalm 103:17
Your sameness is our stability. Everything around us can change, but you never will. We cling to this truth and live by it today. Make us steady on our feet. Wherever we are in the ups and the downs, cause us to believe in your steadfast love. Amen.